Sister Sharon Mohammed, 50, religious leader of recently formed Full Gospel Church named “Joy Tabernacle” of Hope Road, Second Branch, Princes Town told Newsday “it was God who did it”.
Mohammed also accused residents in the area of ripping down a sign advertising her church from where it was installed on a utility pole.
On Saturday morning , the prayer rooms of Hindus Gayapersad Hajaree, 87, of Hope Road, First Branch, Princes Town and Parbatee Ramoo, 54, of Hope Road, Princes Town were discovered ransacked and several ceramic murtis of Lords Ganesh, Hanuman, Lakshmi, Durga and Swarsatee, and golden images of Lords Shiva, Krishna and Ram were smashed and scattered in the yard. Pieces were also found at the side of the road and in the drain.
A neighbour of one of the victims said they saw Mohammed carrying out the act which took place within a few hours of each other. It is believed it occurred just after midnight on Friday.
Calling it an act of sacrilege, Hajaree, a grandfather of ten, and housewife Parbatee Ramoo, 54, a grandmother of 11, told Newsday they not only want the church out of the area but they also want the intervention of the police. The matter has since been reported to the Princes Town Police Station but so far no one has been held.
Ramoo’s prayer room is located at the front of her house in an open yard which is a stone’s throw away from Mohammed’s home and church.
Speaking to Newsday yesterday, an emotional Ramoo said, “If police don’t come and I don’t get back my things, I will take things in my own hand, I telling you the honest truth.”
“I save one-one cent to buy what I want,” she said pointing to the broken pieces of murtis lying on the roadside.
She added, “I don’t work, my husband don’t have a good job. I save my money and I sacrifice to buy what I have. Saturday morning I start to roll in that road as if somebody was killing me. I feel as if my whole life was down in the drain, just the way I was before.” Ramoo said on Friday night she heard some of the members of the church, who recently moved into the area, singing and clapping while walking along the road.
“They were going to put up a church sign out the road,” Ramoo told Newsday.
“I heard some other noises outside but I was very tired and I tell myself people must be passing and breaking up bottle in the road. Is when I wake up next morning and went to the prayer room at 6 am to offer my prayers, I got a shock. I suffered $4,000 in losses. It’s very expensive murtis, about 12 of them, different sizes, Lords Ganesh, Hanuman, Durga you name it I had it.”
Hajaree, a retired Caroni worker, said he built his “home temple” 25 years ago while still working as a supervisor on the La Gloria Estate in Princes Town. His prayer room is also close to his front step and located a street away from Mohammed. “I cry Saturday morning when I see all the murtis mash up.
“It really make me cry because since 1987 when I was working in La Gloria, I make that temple up there. From there I bring it down here and I start to worship home.
“Every morning I get up and go and make prayers there. I couldn’t feel good at all.”
Hajaree said he had gone to say his daily prayers at about 3.30 am when he found his prayer room broken into and ransacked.
He said he had properly secured his prayer room before going to bed.
“When I walk in here, I say like somebody come in the room.